Milford SoundThe road from Te Anau to Milford Sound is a very scenic one, but drivers have to exercise extreme caution on this route since the roads are winding uphill and the scenery just keeps getting better with every turn. I started off around 9:30 a.m. from Te Anau Top 10 Holiday Park and reached Milford at 12:00 hrs. There was some fog on the road which if hadn't been, I would made it in 2 hours. I booked a Milford cruise on Real Journeys and the ticket booking was done from Te Anau Top 10 Holiday Park which got me a good discount of 44 NZD i.e I was charged 54 NZD for a ticket worth 98 NZD. My lucky day !The cruise was indeed stunning and Milford Sound is just magical on a cloudy day. It is said that Milford is at it's best when it rains because then there are numerous waterfalls instead of the 5 we saw. I drove back in a hurry because the Holmer Tunnel was getting closed at 4:00 p.m and I made past it by 3:45 p.m. I headed down to a freedom camping site called Drift's Bay just a few kilometers out of Kingston for a rather windy and shaky night. My motorhome was shaking like a dried leaf in the middle of the night since the winds really picked up speed! But I was too lazy to leave the comfort of my bed and park the van again at a different location. The wind subsided at around 4:30 a.m.
Milford Sound is the most visited destination in New Zealand and the place we next planned on visiting. The place is around 3-4 hours away from Queenstown via Te Anau. We booked a 2-hour cruise through the fjord. One can see waterfalls (including the renowned Bowen Falls) cascading down the mountains and seals basking in the sun throughout the journey. After the cruise I parted ways with my travel mate as she was heading southwards to Dunedin.
Keep a day to visit the absolutely stunning Milford Sound - it'll be a long day, but something you cannot miss. I strongly recommend the BBQ Bus - the only tour that provides a hot barbeque meal, along a stream in the middle of nowhere! The tour is not your typical sightseeing tour - it's more like a friend showing a small group of 10-12 his favourite spots. You pass the small city of Te Anau and the Fjordland National Park before you get to the Sound. The route itself is absolutely stunning and there's a photo op around every corner. So don't fall asleep. Milford Sound is a beauty that transcends worlds - the hour long cruise had me mesmerized for the entire duration.
3. Franz Josef